Hebrew, Elohim (God); Greek, helios (the sun); Breton, heol; Latin, sol; German, sonne; Anglo-Saxon, sunne. As a deity, called Adonis by the Phoenicians, and Apollo by the Greeks and Romans.
Sun. Harris, in his Hermes, asserts that all nations ascribe to the sun a masculine and the moon a feminine gender. For confutation see Moon.
City of the Sun. Rhodes was so called because the sun was its tutelar deity. The Colossos of Rhodes was consecrated to the sun. On or Heliopolis, Egypt.
(The), called in Celtic mythology Sunna (fem.), lives in constant dread of being devoured by the wolf Fenris. It is this contest with the wolf to which eclipses are due. According to this mythology, the sun has a beautiful daughter who will one day reign in place of her mother, and the world will be wholly renovated.
Horses of the Sun. Arvakur, Aslo, and Alsvidur. (Scandinavian mythology.) Bronte (thunder), Eoos (day-break), Ethiops (flashing), Ethon (fiery), Erythreos (red-producers), Philoge'a (earth-loving), Pyrois (fiery). All of them “breathe fire from their nostrils.” (Greek and Latin mythology.)
The horses of Aurora are Abrax and Phaeton. (See Horse.)
More worship the rising than the setting sun, said Pompey; meaning that more persons pay honour to ascendant than to fallen greatness. The allusion is, of course, to the Persian fire-worshippers.
Heaven cannot support two suns, nor earth two masters. So said Alexander the Great when Darius (before the battle of Arbela) sent to offer terms of peace. Beautifully imitated by Shakespeare:
Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere; Nor can one England brook a double reign, Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.
1 Henry IV., v. 4.
Here lies a she-sun, and a he moon there (Donne). Epithalamium on the marriage of Lady Elizabeth, daughter of James I., with Frederick, elector palatine. It was through this unfortunate princess, called “Queen of Bohemia” and “Queen of Hearts,” that the family of Brunswick succeeded to the British throne. Some say that Lord Craven married (secretly) the “fair widow.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894